Competitions violate MCPS policy
Blair administrators canceled the Ice Hockey and Frisbee clubs Friday, Jan. 7, due to a violation of Montgomery County policy prohibiting athletic clubs that compete with other organizations from being school-sponsored.
Principal Philip Gainous vetoed the Ice Hockey Club's constitution on the grounds of events from last year, said SGA President Sebastian Johnson. The Ice Hockey Club was previously canceled because an injured hockey player sued Montgomery County Public Schools for liability. "This year, they tried to get [SGA] approval, but Gainous vetoed the constitution," said Johnson.
The Ice Hockey Club will attempt to overturn the administration's decision. "We're trying to get recognized by the school," said Ice Hockey Club Assistant Captain Nathan Barrymore. "Our first step is to talk to Johnson and work things out, then discuss it with Gainous. If that doesn't work, we'll have to go to the next level," he said.
According to Johnson, the SGA revoked its sponsorship of the Frisbee Club due to "safety reasons." "It isn't dangerous to play Frisbee, but they compete with other teams around the county," which violates county policy, explained Johnson. Johnson reasoned that the two clubs would not comply with county regulations because of the way that Frisbee Club was organized into the Frisbee club and Frisbee team. "The Frisbee club has a level of association [with the team] that could be in violation of the policy," he said.
Other Blair clubs that do not comply with the county's policy will also be canceled. "Depending on what clubs that are in violation of the policy, [SGA] will revoke them," said Johnson. He also said that if a revoked club changed so as to not be in violation of county policy, the SGA and administration would reinstate the club. Johnson said that he and Gainous will go over which clubs are in violation soon.
Revoking after-school clubs that compete with other organizations could end many programs that are popular in the Blair community. "It is unfortunate yet necessary," said Johnson. The SGA has not yet talked about possible compensations for the lost clubs. "I will discuss [options] with the executive board and my SGA officers," Johnson explained.
Johnson stressed the importance of complying with the county's policy over of issuing punishment to Blazers. "This isn't about punishing anybody; it's about adhering to county policy."
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